Colton Haaker is aiming for his championship hat trick when the opening round of the SuperEnduro World Championship gets underway in Krakow, Poland next week.
But unlike in previous years, Haaker enters round one less than 100 per cent ready.
An ongoing elbow injury forced him to forgo his AMA EnduroCross title defence midway through the series and since then he’s been busy healing up.
“Defending the SuperEnduro championship is going to be tough, but I am really motivated to give my best,” told Haaker.
“It might not be ideal going into the championship following injury, but as long as everything goes to plan I should be in with a good chance of the title.”
While not expecting to be up to full speed for Poland, Haaker knows that the series is a long one and one that offers potential to build up momentum.
With a three-to-four week window between most rounds, he’s really hoping that from round two in Germany onwards he’ll be in the hunt and ready to defend his crown when it matters most…
“With the series being spread out over a few months I’m hoping to build momentum as time goes on, ready to challenge for the title during the closing rounds.”
The two-time champion heads Husqvarna’s strong three-man team of Haaker, Alfredo Gomez and Billy Bolt.
Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media
Gomez with title hopes in his sights
Gomez, having switched from KTM to Husqvarna last week, starts the the 2017/18 keen to go one place better than his runner-up result of the previous series.
Despite a late edition to the championship to replace Taddy Blazusiak, Gomez came out swinging and managed to win the majority of races.
“Winning half of the rounds last year, I proved I can consistently fight for the title,” said Gomez.
“Going into the championship my goal is clear – I want to start the season on a high in Poland and keep fighting for the world championship all the way until the last round in Sweden.”
Easily the wildcard of this year’s championship, Billy Bolt is one rider that could shake things up among the established elite.
Holding a natural flare for indoors, despite having never raced a superenduro race, the rookie has been preparing hard and is keen to get in the mix.
“I think we’re going to have some good battles and I can’t wait to be part of them,” told Bolt.
“My goal going into Poland is to see where I’m at and then gradually improve from there.
“I am confident that after Poland I’ll know what to work on so that I can keep pushing and, all being well, challenge for podium results.”
The opening round of the SuperEnduro World Championship gets going in Krakow, Poland on December 8.
Robert LynnEnduro21 Editorrobert@future7media.com